Black Bean Sliders

The plan for tonight was a broiled chicken parmesan sub. Unfortunately I got overruled. Lauren plays volleyball on Monday nights and when her games start late she usually wants lighter fare for dinner. So when I emailed that idea she countered with Black Bean Croquettes, which sounded totally unappealing given the photos and memories of the failed texture of our previous attempt at making them.

Then we remembered that Rachel also made these and made some slight alterations to give it the crunch we had been looking for and since she was kind enough to email those changes to me, all I had to do was search my gmail to recall what they were. So Rachel, thanks. These are partly your creation.

Base recipe is the same as before:

  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup plain dry breadcrumbs, divided
  • 2 cups finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Mash black beans and cumin with a fork in a large bowl until no whole beans remain. Stir in corn and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Combine tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir 1 cup of the tomato mixture into the black bean mixture.

Mix the remaining 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder in a small bowl until the breadcrumbs are coated with oil. Divide the bean mixture into 8 scant 1/2-cup balls. Lightly press each bean ball into the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet.

We also added some diced red and yellow bell pepper, a half cup of parmesan cheese and used a full can of corn. We were also afraid that our mixture wouldn't bind, so we added an egg. The result was a pretty wet mess. So we added an extra 1/4 cup of bread crumbs to the mixture and an extra half cup to the dredging bowl.

We scooped the mixture in 1/4-1/3 cup balls (making approximately 14), heavily rolled them in bread crumbs (until dry on the exterior) and then flattened them out into patties. We took the patties and cooked/seared them 3 at a time in a skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil (medium-high heat, 3 mins per side). That gave us the crisp exterior we have been hoping for. We took the seared patties and then stuck them in the oven at 400 for 17 minutes.

For buns we took some brown & serve dinner rolls, toasted them in the oven for 6 minutes and then split them in half. Unfortunately my patties were too large to be sliders and we didn't have any other buns. The biggest problem was that even in the end the patties are so delicate that everything outside the bun kind of fell apart as soon as you started eating it. Later I found out that if you let them rest for about 5 minutes after they come out of the oven, the firm up enough to make that problem manageable.

Though they came out bigger than I had intended, the taste and texture were everything I was hoping for.

To top the burgers we had three choices: the cilantro-lime mayonnaise from out blackened salmon, sour cream and salsa or some guacamole with lime. I chose the mayo, while Lauren chose the sour cream and salsa. By all accounts we both made a solid choice.


Rach said...

dude, I can't get enough of those things! I make them at least once a week...and end up eating them for breakfast & lunch the next day. I don't think they'll ever get old for me. I've been in my kitchen non stop since Saturday cooking for a bridal shower & making food for Matt & Lesley (they had their baby). I'm ready for something easy with a big payout....looks like it'll be black bean croquettes for me tomorrow....YES!